Most of us have very limited knowledge when it comes to videography. Sure, it’s now on many newer digital cameras, but how much do we really know when it’s time to hire a professional. Yes, do ask the standard questions like how long will you be there and how many locations will you cover. But also, consider these additional 9 questions to guide you before you sign that contract.
How long have you been in the business and do you do this full time?
Experience is a key component. Ask how many weddings they have done and get references as well. Generally an established company means that you can depend on them to deliver your final product. Beware of part-time new people that have no experience.
Who will be videotaping my wedding? Will you use a second videographer?
Be sure to talk with the person who will actually be videotaping your wedding to be sure that you get everything you want and that you are comfortable with that person. Discuss the flow of the day and what you expect them to capture and the method of capture. Some videographers can dominate a good part of your wedding day creating scenes that are made to imitate standard scenarios rather than just letting the day flow as it happens. For example, he/she may say, “Mom, pretend to adjust the bride’s veil, and give her a loving look.” If you want things like that captured fine…but if you want the day to be captured the way it actually happens, be sure to discuss that option.
Secondly a second videographer can capture a scene from a different angle and perspective. Some will just set up a second camera and hope for the best, and others will bring along a second videographer.
How many cameras will you use?
Two cameras could mean two videographers, or it could mean just a second camera on a tripod with a wide angle lens. Having a second videographer will be more expense, but sometimes it is well worth the extra cost due to the extra coverage that you will receive.
How do you capture the audio?
Good audio quality is very important. At the ceremony, the groom should wear a wireless microphone and have another one on the podium for any readers or singers. At the reception, make sure that anyone who is giving a toast or blessing is using a microphone.
Do you require and use special lighting?
Some use lights on their camera and some don’t. A standalone softbox light will give off soft, even lighting. Ambient light at the reception helps keep video light not quite so harsh. (The photographer also needs some ambient light to do his job well. So, for the best quality, do not make the reception hall really dark.)
Do I receive my wedding on a DVD?
As you probably know, the DVD is the current trend. Most videographers have gone away from VHS tape because there can be a loss of quality over time. Your wedding video can last for generations without deterioration when using a DVD, so I personally, would accept nothing but DVD. Also inquire about Blu-Ray.
How many hours will you anticipate spending editing my wedding?
Video technology is an ever changing field and most videographers will spend between 30 to 40 hours on the computer editing a wedding.
What type of cameras do you use?
There are basically three types of cameras. A 3-Chip Digital offers the highest resolution at 530 lines. Super VHS & Hi-8 (they use analog tape) have 400 lines of resolution and VHS cameras have 230 lines of resolution. The higher the resolution the better the quality.
What other services do you offer and can I see examples of your work?
Some videographers will have demo tapes, some will ask you to come to the studio to view, and others have streaming video on their website. You might also ask about special effect such as black & white, sepia, animation…and so on. Ask the videographer how they differ from other videographers.